Freo's View

REDEPLOY FREMANTLE STAFF ASAP!

 

With May Day just around the corner it is very disappointing that Fremantle Council last night voted to stand down around 60 staff members, as part of the special Covid-19 budget amendment, with no commitment from the elected members to redeploy the affected staff in the future.

It is also extremely disappointing that the State Government is not taking any responsibility and action, with Local Government Minister David Templeman saying there is no need for councils to stand down staff and Premier Mark McGowan on record saying that the action by Fremantle Council is appalling.

A city that gets a large part of its revenue from parking fees and fines, tourism and the hospitality industry clearly is far more in financial strive than other councils. For the State Government to just say that it is a local government problem is unfair and unrealistic.

The Labor State Government needs to look better after local council workers and can’t just let them rot. These are the people who keep our communities going, who do a lot of the basic jobs and who deserve acknowledgment for that. To put them on the scrap heap because of financial difficulties at local government level is not right and the unions need to step up and start crying a lot louder than what they have done so far.

May Day should be the day where the entire Fremantle community makes it very clear that we want the affected staff members to be redeployed as soon as possible! All the bullsh.t that we are all in this together is just a PR slogan!

Roel Loopers

STAFF PAYMENT ERRORS AT FREMANTLE CITY

Posted in city of fremantle, employment, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 21, 2019

 

Not only famous TV chefs and the hospitality industry have problems managing proper staff payments, as this media release by the City of Fremantle shows:

The City of Fremantle has advised that at the time of the recent negotiations on the City of Fremantle Workforce Agreement (Inside EBA), the City discovered a number of employees had not been paid in line with shift penalty clauses of the EBA.

The error was a misinterpretation of the shift penalty clause in the EBA and the additional leave entitlements clause.

This affected 143 casual employees and shift workers, mostly employed at the Fremantle Leisure Centre, Fremantle Arts Centre, Library and Visitor Centre, as well as parking and community safety officers.

City of Fremantle Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Garbett said the City was very sorry that this had happened and apologised to all affected staff.

Mr Garbett said while no staff were paid less than their award wage, as the City’s EBA rates are above the relevant award, the City had incorrectly calculated penalties and additional leave entitlements which meant these benefits were not fully passed on at the time they were accrued.

Mr Garbett said all affected employees have been back-paid, or are in the process of receiving the additional leave entitlements they accrued. 

“We pride ourselves on ensuring our staff are well looked after and we have always worked with unions and our staff to provide the best working conditions possible,” Mr Garbett said.

“As soon as we became aware of this issue, the City’s focus has been on making sure we resolve it as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”

The error was the result of an unintentional incorrect interpretation within the EBA of certain clauses applying to casual and shift employees dating back several years in some instances. The EBA is renegotiated every three years and the error had not been identified by the City, its employees or union delegates previously.

The total amount of the back payments made, or in the process of being made, to staff is $564,949, with the average payment being around $3950.

 “The City has also identified that up to 27 employees have been overpaid. These employees are not required to repay the overpayment.

 “To ensure this situation does not occur again the City now has an agreed interpretation of the EBA which has been approved by our Industrial Relations consultant,” Mr Garbett said.

The City has also implemented rigorous payroll checking processes and is reviewing its auditing processes.

Any former employee who feels they may be affected can contact the City on 1300 MYFREO (1300 693 736).

Roel Loopers

THANK YOU BOB HAWKE!

RIP Bob Hawke. A man of principles and values, willing to take risks, trying to find consensus and bringing people together instead of dividing them.

He was also a big fighter against racism. A brilliant man has died.

He changed Australia for the better. Thanks Bob!

Roel Loopers

FREO MAY DAY AT A GLANCE

Posted in city of fremantle, employment, politics, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on May 5, 2019

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FREMANTLE MAY DAY PHOTOS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, employment, may day, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on May 6, 2018

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I love the tradition of the MAY DAY parade through the inner city of Fremantle, so took a lot of photos today.

Roel Loopers

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MAY DAY FESTIVAL IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, employment, may day, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on May 5, 2018

 

May Day

 

The weather forecast for 90% chance of showers tomorrow does not look good for the MAY DAY festivities and parade.

The parade starts at midday from the Fremantle Esplanade from where it snakes through the inner city. It’s always a good and noisy spectacle to watch the hundreds of unionists with their flags and banners. Workers United….!

There are food and information stalls, live music and activities, so bring a brolly or raincoat and join in anyway!

Roel Loopers

UNION TRUTH ABOUT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

 

I was given a copy of an eight-page flyer The Truth About The Flawed Outer Harbour Plan, written by the Maritime Union of Australia WA Branch secretary and National President Christy Cain.

It’s always good to try to see all sides of an argument, so let’s have a look at the facts the MUA published in the leaflet.

# The MUA claims that Fremantle Port is only running at 50% capacity and that there is no need for a premature costly duplication of the port at Kwinana.

# The MUA supports the long-term vision of an overflow port at Kwinana when it is needed, but say it is not needed yet, and that the volume at Fremantle Port has been falling for some time.

# The proposed cap on Fremantle Port is lower than the current volume and would be anticompetitive, the union claims. It would prevent the current terminal operators to grow.

# 90% of containers to and from the port are on the road between 6am-6pm Monday to Friday. The port operates 24/7 but nearly all containers are handled in just 35% of all the hours available.

# Better coordination of road transport, plus general decline in volume has seen a 11% reduction in truck visits to Fremantle Port over the last two years.

# Rail is underutilised as is handles only 14.5% of containers, while it is designed to carry 30% of container traffic.

# The MUA says that if the outer harbour was built now, 20-30 years before it is needed, it would add $ 10 billion to the construction cost, making it a $ 15-16 billion dollar dud, that would cause a dramatic increase to freight costs.

# Fremantle Port supports 2,000 direct employees and an estimated total workforce of 6,000 direct and indirect employees servicing the port.

# The outer harbour would be automated and would have less jobs than Fremantle Port.

# Government Treasury predicts another 25 years of growth potential for Fremantle Port. It stated that artificial capping would result in earlier capital investment in the Outer Harbour and related road and rail infrastructure-imposing an unnecessary financial burden on the WA Government, container trades and the community.

If you have any questions it is best to contact the MUA as I won’t have the answers.

 

Roel Loopers

UNIONS PUT FREO’S SOUTH QUAY PROJECT IN JEOPARDY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on August 28, 2017

 

port

 

In a comment to this blog I was chastised last week for believing articles published in the West Australian and media in general, but today’s article about the WA Labor state conference, shows that it was not fake news after all.

It is a great worry for Fremantle Council that the South Quay development plans, they wanted to realise in collaboration with the state government, are put in jeopardy by the right-wing new faction Progressive Labor, that got a motion passed on the weekend at the Labor state conference, to delay the development of a new port at Kwinana because it would cost jobs on the wharf.

According to union secretary Adrian Evans Fremantle Port is only running at 50 per cent capacity and hence a new outer harbour would only be needed in 20-30 years from now.

Development of Victoria Quay and connecting it better to the Fremantle inner city would be fantastic, especially with the imminent development of the Woolstores shopping centre site.

 

Roel Loopers

 

UNION NOT HAPPY WITH KWINANA PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on August 24, 2017

 

Very interesting to read that the WA Labor State Government is clashing with the Maritime Union of Australia because of their commitment to build an outer harbour at Kwinana.

The MUA wants the WA government to delay the building of the new port, which experts say would take at least ten years to realise, because they fear the closure or part closure of Fremantle Ports would create job losses for port workers.

When one looks at the automation of other ports around the world it is highly likely that a new Kwinana port would also heavily rely on automation and would need fewer workers to do the wharf jobs.

The scrapping of the Roe 8 highway and the desire by the City of Fremantle to develop the south quay of the port means a new harbour is probably on the cards in the not too distant future.

But unions do have a huge influence in the Labor party, so nothing is certain until they have sorted out their differences.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MAY DAY PHOTOS

Posted in fremantle, may day, unions by freoview on May 7, 2017

 

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A great Sunday and a great turnout for today’s traditional yearly May Day event in Fremantle.

It was all about united workers’s rights, protection and solidarity and the Labor and Greens politicians turned up in numbers.

New WA Labor Premier Marl McGowan addressed the unionists, while new Freo Minister Simone McGurk and Federal Labor MP Josh Wilson watched on.

Roel Loopers

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